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Outdoor Spaces

Inside Jonathan and Audrey Garards' Park-Like Backyard Paradise

Between an outdoor living space complete with pizza oven and TV to a pool and an elaborate vegetable garden, this backyard has something for everyone.

By Tessa Cooper

Mar 2021

Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsAdding this covered patio wasn’t originally part of the Garards' remodel plans. But after removing the trees that hid the view of the pool, they came up with the idea to connect the pool to the living space. “It literally changed how we live on the property,” Jonathan says. Purchase Photo

It was the surrounding landscape that first drew Jonathan and Audrey Garard to their current home a year and a half ago. “When we started this remodel project, it wasn’t about the house,” Audrey says. “It was about the property and the land, space and big trees. We bought it for that and then we figured out how to make the house work.”

And they did make the house work, but they also enhanced the backyard significantly. They cleaned up overgrown trees that blocked the view of the pool from the house, extended the roofline to nearly meet the pool, and lit the open green space and trees with layers of stringed lights. 

According to Jonathan, they have the original homeowners to thank for the home’s park-like setting. In 1957, there wasn’t a single tree on this property. The former owners fell in love with specific trees they saw on their travels and curated their own little forest accordingly. “The magnificent trees frame the entire space,” Jonathan says. “They planted so many unique different species on this property.”

Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsWhile the home’s architectural style is midcentury, the couple doesn’t let that deter them from combining decorating styles. They decorate with things that have meaning, and they carry this principle to the backyard. Jonathan served in the military, so the American flag holds significance for the family, and the small marble-top stool formerly belonged to Audrey’s grandpa. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsSometimes it's just too nice outside to watch TV inside, so the Garards' have an outdoor setup for family entertainment. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsAdding an outdoor pizza oven to their backyard was on the top of Jonathan’s wish list. “I grew up in the New Haven area, which has just some of the best pizza in the world,” he says. “It really has been such a joy over this past year to make individual pizzas. The kids get what they want. The adults get what they want. It’s beautiful at the same time, and it creates something we can share with so many other people.” Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThis pool is nearly 40 years old, and it was almost black when they first opened it. However, it was still more cost-effective to repair it rather than tear it out. And with two children in the household, it gets plenty of use and offers a great escape from the summer heat. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsThis shed with its green door came with the Garards' home, but they had it moved next to the pool to use for storage. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsTheir outdoor space has turned Audrey into an avid gardener. “I’ve always wanted a garden, and that was our COVID project this year,” she says. “Jonathan built the amazing garden for me, and my idea of fun is spending time in the garden and working in the greenhouse.” Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsJonathan and Audrey Garards' garden. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon AlmsJonathan and Audrey Garards' garden. Purchase Photo
Jonathan and Audrey Garards' backyard Springfield MO
Photos by Brandon Alms“From the beginning, we had a vision to light up the property and make the whole thing come alive at night,” says Jonathan (pictured). “So when the sun drops, you’re not sitting in darkness. It literally opens the whole property to a new experience and ultimately, family. It kind of pushes the darkness back, and when the trees are lit it really turns into a magical space.” Purchase Photo

The couple shares the outdoor space with their two sons, ages 13 and 11, who spent quite a bit of time helping in the new garden this past year. “One of our sons wanted to be a YouTube gamer, and we were like, ‘Yeah, that’s not going to happen, but you can be a Facebook gardener,’” Audrey says. “So he was making gardening videos all summer. It was hysterical and a lot of fun.” Through small changes that made a big impact, every member of the Garard family has found their own place in the backyard.




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